Pic.Â The Reusable Launch Vehicle-Technology Demonstrator (RLV-TD) takes flight
One of the things these photos underscore is the scale of the launch. NASAâ€™s space shuttle orbiters each measured over 122 feet in length, and the cost of just one shuttle, Endeavour, came in at over $1 billion. At 22 feet, ISROâ€™s Reusable Launch Vehicle-Technology Demonstrator (RLV-TD) is a little guy, and its $14 million price tag is similarly minuscule. Yet thereâ€™s nothing small about the launch itself. Itâ€™s a huge milestone for India and for the growth of reusable spacecraft worldwide.
The entire flight lasted for just 770 seconds. Earlier reports predicted that the shuttle wasnâ€™t expected to survive the landing attempt. Now, ISRO scientists say that they managed to guide the craft into a soft descent into the Bay of Bengal, where it appears to be intact.
By Ria Misra